Teacher, how art thou?

The Gates Foundation’s preliminary findings on the measures of effective teaching is out. The study is based on the premise that teachers matter, highlighting the major role of teachers in effecting learning. Herein lies my conflict with the philosophy of instructional design: no matter what blueprint you may have, it may not achieve results because you cannot be sure how a teacher implements the plan in the classroom or virtually. I’ve seen that with my own eyes, and been there myself as a teacher for years. I’ve watched great teachers in action, and they are not trained in instructional design. Richard Clark mentioned this before at AECT 2010 that we are humbled by what we don’t know about learning (or something to that effect) because much of how people learn is a result of automaticity (citing Bargh’s studies on priming).

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